Mathews J Nedumpara
Is our legal system redeemable?
When Government enacts laws which result in injustice there are all means of correction. Laws can be amended, could be questioned in court, can be criticized, and agitation even bringing the Government to its knees, is possible and we have witnessed it recently concerning the farm laws. But, when the grave injustice arises out of judicial pronouncements, rendered behind the back of the person’s affected, sometimes a single individual and sometimes thousands of people as the cases of the slum dwellers in Bombay. When the High court passes an order against an individual or group of persons behind their back, when a review is sought, it is rejected saying that the person aggrieved is not a party to the original proceedings! If he files an appeal, it is rejected on the ground that he is a stranger to the original proceedings!! What I am stating are not hypothetical scenarios. I have witnessed hundreds of such cases, and the worst of is the demolition of thousands of shanties in Bombay where people have been in occupation for many decades, by entertaining PILs of the publicity hungry and self righteous. The court often has failed to notice that the orders which they pass without hearing the poor slum dwellers, all of a sudden as if a bolt from the blue, and providing them no alternative accommodation is one the greatest human right violation. What happens to the protection of precious human rights when it comes to poor people being thrown out of their homes one fine day, without notice to them? So is the case of the 350 apartments in Maradu, cochin. So too, the case of the 1064 churches. Why such manifestly unjust things happen? Is it the lack of grip on the fundamentals of jurisprudence, the doctrine of res judicata and res inter alios and simply lack of sense of justice?